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Getting Tommy John to 300… #290

by Paul Semendinger

November 5, 2021


300 is a great round number. And if a pitcher wins 300 games, that’s also almost a sure fire way to gain induction.

Every single pitcher in baseball history with 300 wins, save for Roger Clemens (but that’s another story) is in the Hall-of-Fame.

The pitchers just outside 300 have not been as fortunate.

Bobby Mathews (who pitched from 1871 to 1887 – spending a few years in New York on the NY Mutuals) won 297 games, he’s on the outside looking in. It was, of course, a different game then.

But next on the All-Time Wins list is Tommy John with 288. He’s also on the outside looking in.

(Note – With Jim Kaat and his 283 wins gaining entrance into the Hall of Fame, Tommy John should earn election the next time his name comes up in committee. Tommy John is every bit as deserving as Jim Kaat.)


I decided to take a look at Tommy John’s long career to see if I could find him 12 more wins to help his Hall of Fame chances. .

This, then is my new quest. Today I will seek and find win #290 for Tommy John.


Previous Articles in this Series:


September, 1963

In Tommy John’s next start, September 26, 1963, he also deserved a win. In that game, his last appearance of his rookie year, 1963, Tommy John earned a no-decision, but he pitched well enough to win.

Pitching against the Kansas City Athletics, Tommy John pitched six innings. He allowed just four hits. He walked no one. He allowed only one run.

The lone run came in the sixth inning with two outs. That inning, Tommy John allowed a single to Bobby Del Greco. He then retired the next two batters before Dick Green doubled home Del Greco. To that point, the Indians had managed only one run themselves so that double tied the game at 1-1.

Tommy John then retired the next batter (former Yankee, Jerry Lumpe).

John was pinch-hit for in the seventh and he left with a no-decision.

In the tenth inning, the Indians scored three times to win the game.

In this game, six innings, just one run allowed, Tommy John pitched well enough to win.

For the purposes of this series, Tommy John gets credit here for his 290th win.


All game information came from Baseball-Reference. (I do love that site.


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